Leeds United host Wolves, in what is both clubs’ curtain raiser for this season’s Premier League campaign. After surviving by the finest of margins and sending Burnley to the Championship, Leeds look ready to go again under the management of Jesse March. Their activity on the transfer market has certainly been cause for optimism, with the Peacocks purchasing the likes of Sinisterra, Aaronson, Tyler Adams and Roca, in what already has the fingerprints of Marsch’s Red Bull connection. On the contrary, the loses of Calvin Philips and Raphinha, arguably the club’s most influential players in the past two PL seasons will run deep and probably take some time to become recouped. With regards to their pre season, Leeds won three of their five preparation friendlies, yet drawing one and losing the other of their only two tests with Premier League opposition. They were also poor at the Elland Road in their most recent league games, beating only bottom side Norwich in their last nine home games. On top of that, they do not boast the best of traditions against the Wolves, who have beaten them in three of their last four meetings on home soil. In what was certainly a peculiar season,
Wolves fans should be both satisfied and disappointed with their 10th place finish. On the one hand, the team displayed some tremendous defensive resolve, which helped them gain points against Chelsea, Spurs and Manchester United while also being in the running for the European places until late March. On the other hand, Wolves massively overperformed, with their expected points tally placing them much lower in the ranks than mid table. The key man to thank for that was Jose Sa who might have been stellar last season, yet Wolves will struggle this time around if they have to rely again so much on their main keeper. With regards to their preparation for the season, they mainly played Iberian teams in their friendlies, winning just two of the six they played. It is also telling that while Wolves had one of the most rigid defences in the division at one point, standards slipped during the season’s finish, with Lage’s team conceding in their final nine Premier League games, in a poor run of just one win and two draws in those games. It is also noteworthy that Leeds remained unbeaten against Wolves in both of their league games last season, both owing to added time goals.